The next chapter of Sean Murphy’s BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT universe kicks off this week, with GENERATION JOKER #1.

The story picks up somewhat immediately after the events of BEYOND THE WHITE KNIGHT, following Jack Napier and Harley Quinn’s twins, Jackie and Bryce. With them, in total A.I. form, is Jack himself. It’s a road trip series that sets the table for what is sure to be an interesting story, with familiar faces from this universe showing up, as well as some new ones.

Spinoff series are nothing new to WHITE KNIGHT, as we’ve previously seen VON FREEZE during the CURSE OF THE WHITE KNIGHT run, HARLEY QUINN following that series, and RED HOOD as an intermission during BEYOND.

An interesting aspect here is the story being written by familiar writers of this universe in Katana Collins (HARLEY QUINN) and Clay McCormack (RED HOOD). It’s a strong collaboration that I think works really well in this debut issue. A fondness I’ve always found with this universe is in the pacing, and how the story always seems to be moving, never sputtering or even setting in cruise control. The foot is always on the gas, which makes it even more fitting that this road trip moves right along as well. Now, don’t get me wrong, the writers do a nice job of setting up characters, locations, motivations, and a compass on where we’re headed. Recently, they guested on THE BATMAN BOOK CLUB podcast, where McCormack mentioned if you can’t tell which of them wrote what page, then they’ve done their job.

I fully agree. The issue flows. Dialogue between the stars (the twins) is fitting and gets you invested. How Jack is in the picture, yet again, is really interesting and fresh. The face at the end connects to something/someone from an earlier story. Everything kept me invested, and the two writers kick this story off with ease.

The art from Mirka Andolfo really pops off the page and feels very appropriate for the story we’re settling into. There’s a warmth and glow to each panel, but never faults at being too bright or happy. I mean, this is WHITE KNIGHT so there’s going to be some intense drama. I thought Andolfo’s art fit into this world, yet stands out as its own style as well. A good choice for this series, and I look forward to what’s to come.

All in all, a solid, interesting, fun, and great-looking beginning to this next chapter. I’m excited to see where GENERATION JOKER takes us. But we all know, the best part of a road trip isn’t just the destination, but the journey itself. So strap in for the next 5 months. – Ryan Lower